Somewhere on my PC is a long blow by blow account of each incident which I posted in another forum a few years ago. I hate to admit this but I am sure I have changed my habits in recent years after getting really tired of the interference by security guards. I have heard Rex Dupain say the same thing and he is a pretty tall and intimidating guy!
Part of the problem I suspect is I get a bit defensive and aggressive when challenged. My standard approach is to say if I'm breaking the law they should call the police and I'll deal with the police and not them and hold my ground. If they insist, I then pull out my mobile phone and suggest that I call the police for them asking them for their name so I can inform the police who it is making the complaint. Usually they grudgingly back off but keep a beady eye on me from a close distance.
The times the cops were called were once from the Anzac bridge and once in the Botany Bay area. On the Anzac bridge the security guard said if I was interested in the plans for the bridge I should apply in writing to the Sydney council, but I could not photograph it! WHAT!? I applied above technique so the guard called the cops and they pulled up at the end of the bridge about 100metres from where I stood. After about 30 seconds the cops got back in the car and drove away after which point the guard kept well away from me. I might have "won" that one, but deep down I don't like confrontation and cops make me nervous, so I felt like crap for the rest of the day.
The last serious incident was a security guard swerving hard in front of me on my bicycle to try to get me to stop after I photographed the late afternoon sun on the corrugated roof of a warehouse in the Rhodes area (from the footpath). As I was riding off, a security car pulled alongside and the driver started blowing the horn and yelling at me through the passenger window along the lines of hey, hey, what were you doing etc. I steadfastly ignored the shouts and refused to look at him at which point he decided to get physical with the car. I jumped the bike back onto the footpath and headed down a pedestrian only lane leaving him fuming behind.
Maybe it's all my fault? Maybe I should be nice as pie and politely compliant? But, I really can't abide unauthorised and unregulated individuals challenging my rights in this way.
You guys really ought to know about this and carry a copy. You can download it here -
OK, OK - Barnaby might trump them all for buffoonery
Originally Posted by hoffy
Re the rally, I cannot be in Sydney for it, but I do hope it helps get the message across.
I can't remember but probably AM or PM.
Originally Posted by iandavid
I'm close to a National Park/World Heritage area but I've not been hassled. However there's a lot of territory to police, maybe I'm lucky.
I do believe that Rex Dupain has a good case, I wrote to the Herald when this was raised a few weeks ago advising him to sell his Hasselblad and his dad's Linhof and buy a phone camera thingy, which the authorities don't seem to mind. I also made the point that a few days earlier the Herald had published a charming photograph from last century of kids in the Argyle Cut, and that the visual social history of this century in Oz was threatened, as anyone attempting a photograph like this was likely to be challenged, by parents or authorities.
I had a bright idea to make photographs of the slightly quirky railway stations in the Blue Mountains and inquired via Cityrail about their attitude to this. Do try it, it will blow your socks off: third party insurance for millions, hire of security guard, financial interest if you publish (offer them 50%, you'll be lucky to sell many copies at all). It turns out to be easier to just ask the guy on duty at the station, they never say no.
However I'm not sure that I want to take up arms for the rights of those making healthy livings from endless colour glossies of Uluru etc. I'll stick with the rights of the owners of those sites.
Regards - Ross